Lambs and Daffodils

Wednesday, 20 April 2011
I have never given much thought to spring, coming from Vegas where the lovely warm weather stays for mere weeks before the summer heat (of around 115 F) is upon you. However, living in England is giving me a new found love for this season. This being my first spring in England, I'm experiencing new things I never have before, and thoroughly enjoying them. Watching the buds slowly creep out of the ground and back onto the trees, daffodils grow like wildfire and are everywhere you turn, and of course all of the baby animals, especially the lambs.

Two weekends ago was a particularly lovely one in Southam, where Luke and I spent much of the weekend lounging in the garden. While Ian and Lindsay toiled away with potting plants and officially ending winter's reign over the garden. Knowing my new found love of spring and my obsession with lambs, Lindsay arranged a special treat for us on Sunday. A friend of hers from work, Deanna, has a smallholding and invited us to come up and feed the lambs.

Deanna and one of her chickens

In the warm sunshine surrounded by animals a smallholding is rather appealing to me, but Deanna is quick to point out in the wet winter months it is a lot of work and images of me having one quickly pop out of my head.  Deanna and her husband have a wide range of animals: horses, chickens, sheep and even a donkey named Jenny. Of course my favourite were the lambs, they were so soft I felt like I was cuddling a stuffed toy. A number of them had really big personalities, especially Lamb 24.

Jenny the Donkey

Did you know: That when lambs are born numbers are spray painted on them so the farmer knows which lamb belongs with which ewe. If multiple lambs are born they are all given the same number. For example, our Lamb 24 had a brother and a sister both with 24 spray painted on their sides, but they weren't sociable like she was. 

'Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb... whose fleece was white as snow.'

As soon as we entered the field a number of lambs came bounding over as they knew we were bringing milk. I was shocked to find them so happy to play with us as I was expecting Deanna to have to coax them over. In fact it was quite the opposite, not only were they only too happy to come and play but they wouldn't leave us alone. We could pick them up and hold them without them kicking up a fuss. I was also surprised to see their mothers didn't seem to care in the slightest that we were playing with their lambs. Lamb 24 followed us around the field and kept jumping up at our knees. I think she was almost as sad to see us go as we were, she stood at the gate 'baa-ing' until we were out of sight.

Luke feeding our favourite, Lamb 24

 Lindsay and Deanna called me the 'lamb whisperer'

Lamb 24 didn't want us to leave.

It was a lovely morning and a very rare opportunity that I'm very grateful for. I'll leave you now with a poem by one of the Romantic-era masters, William Wordsworth, an Englishman who with this poem, I believe, captured the essence of an English spring.

Erin x


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

-- William Wordsworth


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